Keen photographer Kelvin Schedewy, 83, has been taking photographs since getting a Baby Brownie camera as a boy. He now has around 18,000 prints.
A group of Kaipara residents is running a photo competition to help preserve and share the area’s photographic history.
Photos that capture the ‘spirit of Kaipara Flats’ will form an online digital photo gallery, which will be shared via the community’s website and Facebook page.
Prizes are being offered for best portrait, landscape, animal, historical, sport and kids’ photos.
But competition organiser Adrian Hayward is concerned that some of the area’s most accomplished photographers may not be using social media platforms.
“It’s likely that some of the best historic photos are still on negatives and prints,” Adrian says.
Colin Stables, from the Camera Shop in Warkworth, is currently running a ‘photo heritage month’. He’s encouraging Mahurangi’s older residents to transfer their vintage photos into more permanent formats such as digital files.
“Every day I’m transferring old photos, slides, film or video, and everyday I uncover something amazing,” Colin says.
“Photography has been around for well over 100 years. Now is the time for our generation to help out.”
Kelvin Schedewy has been taking photos since he got a Box Brownie camera as a boy. Now aged 83, Mr Schedewy has more than 90 albums with around 200 photographs in each.
“I don’t have a computer; that’s for the young ones, but I have had my Box Brownie photos enlarged,” Mr Schedewy says.
The Schedewy family settled in the Puhoi area from Bohemia in the late 1800’s. They were involved in the transport industry for several generations and Kelvin’s photo collection documents the history of haulage in the area.
“We transported materials for many of the major developments. When the first concrete pipes came out, we had to work out the safest way to get them to Snells Beach. When the subdivision ran out of metal, we trucked it up from South Auckland.”
Mr Schedewy realised from an early age the importance of taking photographs and preserving them.
“There are things I remember now that I wish I’d taken photographs of. They’re just scraps of paper, but once they’re gone, they’re gone. What people need to realise is, today very quickly becomes tomorrow.”